How Many Times Can a Judgment Be Renewed in California?
A judgment is a legal decision made by a court that determines the rights and liabilities of parties involved in a lawsuit. In California, judgments can be renewed under certain circumstances. Understanding the rules and limitations regarding judgment renewals is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants. This article will delve into the process of judgment renewal in California and answer frequently asked questions on the topic.
Renewing a Judgment in California:
In California, a judgment can be renewed if the original judgment has not been fully satisfied within its initial ten-year lifespan. The renewal process allows the judgment creditor (the party owed the money) to extend the judgment’s enforceability for an additional ten years.
To initiate the renewal, the judgment creditor must file an application for renewal with the court in the county where the original judgment was entered. This application should be filed before the judgment expires, but no sooner than three months before its expiration. The application must include information such as the case name, case number, date of the original judgment, and the amount owed.
Once the application for renewal is filed and the necessary fees are paid, the court will issue an order renewing the judgment. The renewed judgment will have the same legal effect as the original judgment and can be enforced against the judgment debtor (the party owing the money) in various ways, such as wage garnishment, bank levies, or property liens.
Limitations on Judgment Renewals:
While judgments in California can be renewed, there are limitations on how many times a judgment can be renewed. The law allows for a maximum of two renewals, extending the judgment’s enforceability for a total of 20 years. After the second renewal, the judgment becomes unenforceable unless a further renewal is granted by the court under exceptional circumstances.
Additionally, it is important to note that the renewal process does not increase the amount owed. The judgment creditor can only collect the original amount awarded, plus any accumulated interest. However, interest continues to accrue on the judgment during the renewal period.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can a judgment be renewed after it expires?
A: No, a judgment cannot be renewed after it expires. It is essential to initiate the renewal process before the judgment’s expiration date.
Q: Can a judgment be renewed if it has already been satisfied?
A: No, if the judgment has been satisfied, meaning the debtor has paid the full amount owed, there is no need for renewal. The renewal process is only applicable if the judgment has not been fully satisfied within its initial ten-year lifespan.
Q: Can a judgment be renewed indefinitely?
A: No, judgments in California can only be renewed twice, extending the judgment’s enforceability for a total of 20 years. After two renewals, the judgment becomes unenforceable unless exceptional circumstances warrant further renewal.
Q: What happens if a judgment is not renewed?
A: If a judgment is not renewed, it becomes unenforceable after its expiration date. The judgment creditor will lose the ability to use legal means to collect the debt owed.
Q: Can a judgment be renewed if the debtor has filed for bankruptcy?
A: In most cases, filing for bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on collection efforts, including judgment renewals. However, certain circumstances may allow the judgment creditor to seek relief from the bankruptcy court to proceed with the renewal.
In conclusion, judgments in California can be renewed to extend their enforceability beyond the initial ten-year period. The renewal process involves filing an application with the court, paying the necessary fees, and obtaining an order for renewal. However, there are limitations on the number of renewals, with a maximum of two renewals allowed, extending the judgment’s enforceability for a total of 20 years. It is crucial to understand these rules and limitations to effectively navigate the judgment renewal process in California.